News and Public Notices

The latest from across Bougainville

Five Indigenous Bougainville Entrepreneurs shine at the 2023 World Indigenous Business Forum

Bougainville Feature: 

In a remarkable showcase of talent, productivity and entrepreneurship, five indigenous Bougainville entrepreneurs made their mark on the global stage at the recently concluded 14th World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF).

Held from October 24th to 26th, the event was hosted in Port Moresby at the APEC Haus and brought together indigenous business individuals and leaders from 14 countries around the world under the theme "Connect, Share, Inspire, and Aspire."

The participation of these Bougainville entrepreneurs was made possible through the partnership between the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Department of Commerce and the National Trade Office. It marked an important step taken by the government in supporting and promoting the growth of local indigenous entrepreneurs.


Meet the Entrepreneurs

The five entrepreneurs representing Bougainville at the WIBF were handpicked for their outstanding contributions to various industries. They not only had the chance to showcase their products but also actively engaged in creating international networks, building partnerships, and exploring new markets. Their participation highlighted the large potential of indigenous businesses on a global stage:

  1. JAM TAILORING: With a passion for fashion, Julie Moroko's Jam Tailoring showcased her distinctive, handcrafted clothing and designs which caught the attention of many, displaying a reflection of Bougainville's unique artistic talent.
  2. OVERCOMERS ARTS AND CRAFTS: Thomas Moikenu, the creative force behind Overcomers Arts and Crafts, brought a rich display of the indigenous Bougainville art and crafts, including the much sought-after famous Buka Baskets in all sizes and designs, drawing in art enthusiasts and collectors.
  3. SIGOWOLE BUSINESS GROUP: Jacob Laulau, Chairman of the Sigowole Business Group, introduced the world to Bougainville's vanilla production, originating from the Bana District in South Bougainville. He achieved remarkable success during the event, securing orders from countries as far away as Romania and Sri Lanka.
  4. SIRIA COOPERATIVE SOCIETY: Morris Kehono, the driving force behind the Siria Cooperative Society involved in the production of virgin coconut oil. He shared the Siria Cooperative Society’s vision of bringing Bougainville's virgin coconut oil to the global market, with notable progress made during the forum as he met potential buyers and sold a significant portion of his products.
  5. BOUGAINVILLE ARTISANS ASSOCIATION: Daisy Hotsia is the lead representative for Bougainville Artisans Association and presented an impressive collection of indigenous handcrafted products, reflecting Bougainville’s rich cultural heritage.


The Bigger Picture

The World Indigenous Business Forum was not just about commerce; it was a global event to enhance cross-cultural understanding and collaboration, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and celebrating the cultural richness that indigenous entrepreneurs bring to the global economic landscape.

Moving forward, the ABG Department of Commerce remains committed to supporting the growth of local indigenous entrepreneurs. They will continue to provide market access and export opportunities, as well as exposure to technology and innovation.

This support will empower local entrepreneurs to advocate for policies that promote their growth and development, including fair trade practices, the protection of intellectual property rights related to traditional knowledge, and other measures addressing the unique challenges faced by indigenous businesses.

The ABG remains committed to supporting and building up Bougainville’s indigenous entrepreneurs to aspire to greater heights on the national and international scene. 

[ Back to News ]